Google Maps and Google Street View have been known to capture all sorts of oddball images, but evidence of a spectacularly grisly murder was a first. A Reddit user recently called attention to an image taken by an aerial Google Maps camera in the Netherlands, which shows what appeared to be the dramatic scene of a crime. In the shot, a shadowy figure seems to be dragging a corpse down a pier and over the edge, leaving a gruesome smear of blood behind the body. You can barely make out the shape of a human body, with the "head" on the right and the "feet" on the left. A body-shaped smudge to the right implies that the corpse left a large bloodstain before someone flipped it over.
Horrible, right? The image was captured in 2009, but Dutch cops could still prosecute if they found any remaining evidence, since there's no statute of limitations for murder. While the debate raged on over what, exactly, the photo depicted -- one Dutch citizen came forward and confessed.
To walking a dog, that is.
So here's the image, slightly zoomed to show you the disturbing scene that had several Redditors contacting the police:
Sadly for CSI wannabes, but happily for the non-existent corpse, it turns out this "murder trail" is actually just the water stain left by an enthusiastic Golden Retriever. The dog's owner, Jacquelina Koenen, explained the so-called homicide:
When I saw the picture I realized, "It’s my dog." He loves the water. He jumps off the end of the jetty, swims round to the bridge, and runs down to the edge again. It’s hilarious that everyone thought it was murder. But it’s great he’s now world-famous.
Local police confirmed the solved mystery with what has to be the most awesome statement ever:
It’s not a murder. It’s a dog.
Heh. Well, I'm sure there are a couple Reddit users who feel a bit foolish now, but I can totally see how this image was misinterpreted. I suspect there were some folks who got legitimately excited over the possibility that their armchair detective work would've resulted in a long-overdue arrest, and if they're still looking for something to do, there are a bunch of unsolved Google Maps mysteries out there. WTF is going on with this smoke monster, for instance? Or this intriguing tableau? C'mon, Internet Sherlocks, we need some explanations.
Can you see how people thought this Google Maps image showed a murder?
Image via Google